2019 PERFORMANCE-BASED PAY DISTRIBUTIONS ANNOUNCED

NFL Communications

2019 PERFORMANCE-BASED PAY DISTRIBUTIONS ANNOUNCED

Football Information Regular English

​​​2019 PERFORMANCE-BASED PAY DISTRIBUTIONS ANNOUNCED

NFL Players will receive $147.952 million in “Performance-Based Pay” for their performance during the 2019 season, the NFL announced today. The Performance-Based Pay program is a collectively bargained benefit that compensates all players, including rookies, based upon their playing time and salary levels.

In addition to the Performance-Based Pay pool, the NFL Players Association has elected to dedicate $83.2 million in benefits (i.e., $2.6 million per club) to fund a Veteran Performance-Based Compensation Pool (the “Veteran Pool”) for players with one or more accrued seasons. In total, $231.152 million will be disbursed to players under the combined pools.

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback CHARVARIUS WARD earned the highest combined distribution of all NFL players in the 2019 Performance-Based Pay program. He earned a total of $654,750, nearly 15 percent more than his 2019 salary, comprised of the following amounts: $428,335 from the Performance-Based Pay Pool, and an additional $226,415 from the Veteran Pool. Ward, a 2018 undrafted free agent out of Middle Tennessee State, started all 16 games for the Chiefs during the 2019 regular season, playing in nearly 95 percent of the Chiefs’ defensive plays, as well as nearly 26 percent of the Chiefs’ special teams plays.  He earned the league minimum salary for a player with one credited season (i.e., $570,000).  Ward signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Cowboys in May of 2018 before being traded to the Chiefs in August 2018. During Kansas City’s Super Bowl-winning season in 2019, Ward finished second on the team with a career-high 10 passes defensed and registered his first two career interceptions.

Players have been paid approximately $1.8 billion cumulatively since the inception of the Performance-Based Pay program, which was implemented as part of the NFL’s 2002 Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL Players Association.

The Veteran Pool is a component of the Rookie Redistribution Fund, which is a player benefit that was created under the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement. The NFL Players Association elected to fund the Veteran Pool for the first time in 2016 and has extended the benefit each season since then.

See the tables below for the top 25 distributions in each category, as well as combined totals.

HOW PERFORMANCE-BASED PAY WORKS

Under the Performance-Based Pay program, a fund is created and used as a supplemental form of player compensation based on a comparison of playing time to salary. Players become eligible to receive a bonus distribution in any regular season in which they play at least one official down.  In general, players with higher playtime percentages and lower salaries benefit most from the pools. 

Performance-Based Pay is computed by using a player index (“Index”). To produce the Index, a player’s regular-season playtime (total plays on offense, defense and special teams) is divided by his adjusted regular-season compensation (full season salary, prorated portion of signing bonus, earned incentives). Each player’s Index is then compared to those of the other players on his team to determine the amount of his Performance-Based Pay.

The Veteran Pool is computed in a similar manner, with two significant modifications: 1) players with zero accrued seasons are not eligible to receive distributions, however, such players remain eligible to receive distributions under the Performance-Based Pay program; and 2) to calculate the eligible player’s Index, if the player’s full-season base salary is less than $1 million, an additional amount will be imputed so that the player’s base salary equals $1 million. By imputing a minimum of $1 million to the denominator of the Veteran Pool’s index calculation (playtime divided by salary), a slightly higher percentage of the pool is directed to high-performing veteran players whose salaries exceed $1 million but are not among the highest in the league, as contemplated by the formula.  This imputation of salary is solely for the purpose of calculating distributions from the pool, and does not affect the actual salary paid to the player under his contract.

ILLUSTRATION OF PERFORMANCE-BASED PAY SYSTEM​

Each player on the same team com­petes for his own share of his club’s Performance-Based Pay pool. The hypothetical example in the table below illustrates how the Player Index works, using a simplified four-player team and a club bonus pool of $1,000,000. Each player receives his share of the pool depending on how his Index compares to those of his teammates. 

 

A

Playtime

B

Compensation

C

Index**

(A/B)

D

% of Club Bonus Pool

(C/Team Total C)

E

Hypothetical Bonus

(D * $1,000,000)

Player A

50%

$     500,000

10.0

50% of the Club’s pool (10 out of 20)

50% * $1,000,000 = $500,000

Player B

50%

$  1,000,000

5.0

25% of the Club’s pool (5 out of 20)

25% * $1,000,000 = $250,000

Player C

20%

$     500,000

4.0

20% of the Club’s pool (4 out of 20)

20% * $1,000,000 = $200,000

Player D

10%

$  1,000,000

1.0

5% of the Club’s pool (1 out of 20)

          5% * $1,000,000 =     $50,000

Team Total:

20.0 Points

 

 

** Index is multiplied by 107 for legibility purposes only

TOP 25 PERFORMANCE-BASED PAY DISTRIBUTIONS FOR 2019

 

PLAYER

 

CLUB

 

POS

 

COLLEGE

ROOKIE

YEAR

DRAFT

ROUND

 

DISTRIBUTION

1

 Charvarius Ward

Kansas City

CB

Middle Tennessee St.

2018

UDFA

 $428,335

2

 Mack Wilson

Cleveland

LB

Alabama

2019

5

 $415,296

3

 Bradley Bozeman

Baltimore

C

Alabama

2018

6

 $403,685

4

 Xavier Woods

Dallas

S

Louisiana Tech

2017

6

 $403,298

5

 Kyle Allen

Carolina

QB

Houston

2018

UDFA

 $393,378

6

 Ted Karras

New England

C

Illinois

2016

6

 $393,363

7

 Matt Feiler

Pittsburgh

T

Bloomsburg

2014

UDFA

 $387,578

8

 J.C. Jackson

New England

CB

Maryland

2018

UDFA

 $375,004

9

 Levi Wallace

Buffalo

CB

Alabama

2018

UDFA

 $363,599

10

 Matt Milano

Buffalo

LB

Boston College

2017

5

 $360,498

11

 Justin Murray

Arizona

T

Cincinnati

2016

UDFA

 $346,499

12

 Nathan Gerry

Philadelphia

LB

Nebraska

2017

5

 $345,976

13

 Tre Flowers

Seattle

CB

Oklahoma State

2018

5

 $340,118

14

 Dre Greenlaw

San Francisco

LB

Arkansas

2019

5

 $339,981

15

 Zach Pascal

Indianapolis

WR

Old Dominion

2017

UDFA

 $328,890

16

 Tre Herndon

Jacksonville

CB

Vanderbilt

2018

UDFA

 $327,050

17

 Emmanuel Moseley

San Francisco

CB

Tennessee

2018

UDFA

 $326,516

18

 Gardner Minshew

Jacksonville

QB

Washington State

2019

6

 $319,098

19

 Jordan Whitehead

Tampa Bay

S

Pittsburgh

2018

4

 $313,985

20

 Chuck Clark

Baltimore

S

Virginia Tech

2017

6

 $311,857

21

 Nicholas Morrow

Oakland

LB

Greenville

2017

UDFA

 $309,968

22

 Marshall Newhouse

New England

T

Texas Christian

2010

5

 $307,476

23

 Allen Lazard

Green Bay

WR

Iowa State

2018

UDFA

 $307,304

24

 Dennis Daley

Carolina

T

South Carolina

2019

6

 $306,889

25

 Jon Halapio

NY Giants

C

Florida

2014

6

 $306,081

UDFA – Undrafted free agent

TOP 25 DISTRIBUTIONS FROM THE VETERAN POOL

 

PLAYER

 

CLUB

 

POS

 

COLLEGE

ROOKIE

YEAR

DRAFT

ROUND

 

DISTRIBUTION

1

 Ted Karras

New England

C

Illinois

2016

6

 $242,584

2

 Matt Milano

Buffalo

LB

Boston College

2017

5

 $237,672

3

 Matt Feiler

Pittsburgh

T

Bloomsburg

2014

UDFA

 $236,004

4

 Charvarius Ward

Kansas City

CB

Middle Tennessee St.

2018

UDFA

 $226,415

5

 Nicholas Morrow

Oakland

LB

Greenville

2017

UDFA

 $220,013

6

 Jordan Whitehead

Tampa Bay

S

Pittsburgh

2018

4

 $215,356

7

 Jon Halapio

NY Giants

C

Florida

2014

6

 $214,374

8

 Nathan Gerry

Philadelphia

LB

Nebraska

2017

5

 $213,484

9

 Xavier Woods

Dallas

S

Louisiana Tech

2017

6

 $212,457

10

 Bradley Bozeman

Baltimore

C

Alabama

2018

6

 $209,495

11

 Tre Herndon

Jacksonville

CB

Vanderbilt

2018

UDFA

 $205,658

12

 Levi Wallace

Buffalo

CB

Alabama

2018

UDFA

 $205,356

13

 Anthony Walker

Indianapolis

LB

Northwestern

2017

5

 $205,094

14

 Damontae Kazee

Atlanta

S

San Diego State

2017

5

 $202,885

15

 Zach Pascal

Indianapolis

WR

Old Dominion

2017

UDFA

 $200,948

16

 Dion Dawkins

Buffalo

T

Temple

2017

2

 $198,085

17

 Richie Incognito

Oakland

G

Nebraska

2005

3

 $197,329

18

 Tre Flowers

Seattle

CB

Oklahoma State

2018

5

 $193,666

19

 Justin Murray

Arizona

T

Cincinnati

2016

UDFA

 $192,648

20

 Elijah Wilkinson

Denver

T

Massachusetts

2017

UDFA

 $192,217

21

 Jon Bostic

Washington

LB

Florida

2013

2

 $191,655

22

 Jerome Baker

Miami

LB

Ohio State

2018

3

 $191,282

23

 Pat Elflein

Minnesota

G

Ohio State

2017

3

 $190,797

24

 Taylor Moton

Carolina

T

Western Michigan

2017

2

 $190,592

25

 David Mayo

NY Giants

LB

Texas State

2015

5

 $190,166

  UDFA – Undrafted free agent

TOP 25 COMBINED DISTRIBUTIONS (PERFORMANCE-BASED PAY PLUS VETERAN POOL)

 

 

 PLAYER

 

CLUB

 

POS

 

COLLEGE

ROOKIE

YEAR

DRAFT

ROUND

PERFORMANCE-BASED

PAY

VETERAN POOL

COMBINED DISTRIBUTION

1

 Charvarius Ward

Kansas City

CB

Middle Tennessee St.

2018

UDFA

 $428,335

 $226,415

 $654,750

2

 Ted Karras

New England

C

Illinois

2016

6

 $393,363

 $242,584

 $635,947

3

 Matt Feiler

Pittsburgh

T

Bloomsburg

2014

UDFA

 $387,578

 $236,004

 $623,582

4

 Xavier Woods

Dallas

S

Louisiana Tech

2017

6

 $403,298

 $212,457

 $615,755

5

 Bradley Bozeman

Baltimore

C

Alabama

2018

6

 $403,685

 $209,495

 $613,180

6

 Matt Milano

Buffalo

LB

Boston College

2017

5

 $360,498

 $237,672

 $598,171

7

 Levi Wallace

Buffalo

CB

Alabama

2018

UDFA

 $363,599

 $205,356

 $568,954

8

 Nathan Gerry

Philadelphia

LB

Nebraska

2017

5

 $345,976

 $213,484

 $559,460

9

 J.C. Jackson

New England

CB

Maryland

2018

UDFA

 $375,004

 $184,032

 $559,036

10

 Justin Murray

Arizona

T

Cincinnati

2016

UDFA

 $346,499

 $192,648

 $539,147

11

 Tre Flowers

Seattle

CB

Oklahoma State

2018

5

 $340,118

 $193,666

 $533,784

12

 Tre Herndon

Jacksonville

CB

Vanderbilt

2018

UDFA

 $327,050

 $205,658

 $532,708

13

 Nicholas Morrow

Oakland

LB

Greenville

2017

UDFA

 $309,968

 $220,013

 $529,981

14

 Zach Pascal

Indianapolis

WR

Old Dominion

2017

UDFA

 $328,890

 $200,948

 $529,838

15

 Jordan Whitehead

Tampa Bay

S

Pittsburgh

2018

4

 $313,985

 $215,356

 $529,341

16

 Jon Halapio

NY Giants

C

Florida

2014

6

 $306,081

 $214,374

 $520,454

17

 Emmanuel Moseley

San Francisco

CB

Tennessee

2018

UDFA

 $326,516

 $174,002

 $500,519

18

 Damontae Kazee

Atlanta

S

San Diego State

2017

5

 $295,050

 $202,885

 $497,934

19

 Chuck Clark

Baltimore

S

Virginia Tech

2017

6

 $311,857

 $183,103

 $494,960

20

 Anthony Walker

Indianapolis

LB

Northwestern

2017

5

 $287,430

 $205,094

 $492,525

21

 Eddie Jackson

Chicago

S

Alabama

2017

4

 $302,105

 $189,171

 $491,275

22

 Marshall Newhouse

New England

T

Texas Christian

2010

5

 $307,476

 $169,375

 $476,850

23

 Richie Incognito

Oakland

G

Nebraska

2005

3

 $279,239

 $197,329

 $476,567

24

 Jayon Brown

Tennessee

LB

UCLA

2017

5

 $286,641

 $188,386

 $475,027

25

 Orlando Brown

Baltimore

T

Oklahoma

2018

3

 $288,015

 $177,517

 $465,532

UDFA – Undrafted free agent